Now that the Walking Dead has returned for this second part of its 11th season, it seems like the writers decided to slow things down a bit and do some character building for this 10th episode. Not that that’s a bad thing, but I have to admit that it was nice to see more of what led up to that crazy ending from episode 9.
Let’s get into this episode a bit more deeply.
Be aware that this article contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 11, Episode 10: New Haunts.
This one started out with a bit of a head-scratcher. Judith and Daryl are walking through a hallway with zombies moaning all around them, but then we find out that the zombies are just part of a haunted house at The Commonwealth. Too soon, guys. Too soon.
But as showrunner Angela Kang pointed out in this episode’s synopsis at the end, it’s as if these people made zombies into a joke, and that just proves how safe The Commonwealth really is. Or is it?
This opening also shows how important the people of The Commonwealth treat their festivals and celebrations. “It was even more unsettling than Alexandria was to our people when they first came in,” Kang remarks.
— Best of Daryl Dixon (@darylarchive) February 21, 2022
At this point, we’re at Day 30 for Daryl, Carol, and most of the other survivors at their new home. They seem to be settling in well, but there’s still that underlying suspicion (especially from Carol) regarding what this place is all about.
While we haven’t yet seen anything from the folks who stayed back at Alexandria, there was a brief mention of Maggie and Lydia staying back. From the scene at the end of episode 9, we also saw that Elijah stayed back as well. Hopefully we get to see more from their side on the next episode.
Overall, this episode was about catching up with the folks at The Commonwealth (like Princess, Ezekiel, and Yumi), and showing how the new recruits (Daryl, Carol, Judith, Connie, Rosita, etc.) are coping with the new rules of this crazy town that operates almost like the zombie apocalypse never happened.
— The Last One Walking (@LastOneWalkin) February 21, 2022
One aspect of that apocalyptic denial is the town’s government, led by Governor Pamela Milton. We get a glimpse of Gov. Milton’s interaction with the citizens when she comes out handing cotton candy to everyone, smiling from ear to ear the entire time. People seem to like Gov. Milton, right? Well, we’ll get to that in a bit.
Lance is also a good example of someone who is all smiles, but you can just smell the slime on him. At one point, we get to see how easily corruptible he is when Carol offers him a case of his favorite wine in exchange for a better place on the surgery list for Ezekiel to treat his cancer. This is yet another example of how Carol remains one of the most powerful characters on this show since the beginning.
And even Daryl is making friends! During his training period with the soldiers, Mercer scolds Daryl for the way he fails the team-building exercises. Daryl is a lone wolf, and Mercer isn’t crazy about that, but I feel like Mercer has something up his sleeve with Daryl. This is especially apparent when he later sends Daryl out on a solo mission to capture a rogue soldier.
During a fancy masquerade ball, a former soldier named Travis Davis (who has been demoted to the wait staff) expresses his hatred of Pamela Milton and the whole government of The Commonwealth. He grabs the governor’s assistant and takes her hostage with a knife before fleeing outside. Daryl catches up to him and places him under arrest (if only Rick could see him now!), but he hands him over to Sebastian Milton (the governor’s spoiled brat son) to claim the capture. That’s probably a wise move on Daryl’s part, considering he always seems to have a target on his back.
When Davis is led back through the party, he has his final words to the governor and the entire gathering of elites: “You think getting rid of me solves anything? There are thousands more like me. Resist the Commonwealth! Visibility for workers! Equality for all!”
“Are there thousand more?” Governor Milton worries.
An underlying message in this episode seems to focus on this whole caste system that’s in place, even during the fall of society. We especially see it with Magna in her waitress job (that she had before the apocalypse) and Yumi in her shady high profile lawyer job.
And finally, at the end of the episode, we see that it’s three days later when Rosita leads a team to infiltrate Travis Davis’ home. They find a hidden room with anti-Commonwealth propaganda and Rosita looks worried about what kind of rebellion is actually boiling up under this town.
So Daryl is a bootlicker, Carol is a wolf in Martha Stewart clothing, Princess and Mercer might hook up, and Rosita is suddenly a detective. What a crazy episode.
Episode 11 Preview
While Rosita and Eugene search for a vanished Stephanie, Lance offers Carol a position in the government. We also get a chilling vision of Mercer covered in blood. This should be good!